Indexed on: 21 Dec '15Published on: 09 Nov '15Published in: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
There is an increasing need to synthesize biocompatible nanofibers with excellent mechanical and electrical performance for electrochemical and biomedical applications. Here we report a facile approach to prepare electroactive and flexible 3D nanostructured biomaterials with high performance based on bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofibers. Our approach can coat BC nanofibers with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) by in situ interfacial polymerization in a controllable manner. The PEDOT coating thickness is adjustable by the monomer concentration or reaction time during polymerization, producing nanofibers with a total diameter ranging from 30 to 200 nm. This fabrication process also provides a convenient method to tune different parameters such as the average pore size and electrical conductivity on the demands of actual applications. Our experiments have demonstrated that the 3D BC/PEDOT nanofibers exhibit high specific surface area, excellent mechanical properties, electroactive stability, and low cell cytotoxicity. With electrical stimulation, calcium imaging of PC12 neural cells on BC/PEDOT nanofibers has revealed a significant increase in the percentage of cells with higher action potentials, suggesting an enhanced capacitance effect of charge injection. As an attractive solution to the challenge of designing better electrode-cell interfaces, 3D BC/PEDOT nanofibers promise many important applications such as biosensing devices, smart drug delivery systems, and implantable electrodes for tissue engineering.